Personal Resilience in an Hour

Resilience tools for stress, setbacks, dips and disappointments, helping you grow in happiness and life satisfaction
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  • Lectures 27
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

This course introduces seven practical strategies to strengthen your resilience, with step-by-step practices that help you deal with and/or recover from setbacks, adversities and challenges. It includes an hour of video content presented in 18 engaging episodes, with downloadable supporting pdf handouts for each strategy. The course is based on research proven methods and the trainer's three decades of experience teaching resilience skills.

Develop your ability to deal with the dips, knocks and bumps in life.

The course

  • shows how inspiring examples of resilience in stories and the news can help you identify key elements of resilience
  • draws on a range of sources, including the Penn Resilience Program which has been shown by research to protect against anxiety and depression
  • introduces emotional first-aid practices to steady your nerves when you're feeling on edge.
  • teaches you to use a storyboarding process to design resilient responses in situations you find difficult

Resilience strategies help you cope with stress, make the best of things and rise to the occasion

Feedback from past participants includes:

"Chris Johnstone has a way of explaining things that makes it crystal clear. His style is professional, authentic and warm."

"This trainer has an amazing ability to deliver the psychology of wellbeing in a highly digestible, lucid and relevant way".

The goal of this course is to help you develop your personal resilience toolkit, offering insights and practices to help you bounce forward when knocked back so that you can get more from life.

What are the requirements?

  • It is helpful if students have past, and/or current, experience of facing challenging situations that they can reflect on, but this is not a requirement for the course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • have a deeper understanding of what resilience is and how it can be cultivated
  • apply practical resilience strategies that can help when facing challenging situations

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is both for people new to the topic of resilience and for those wanting to further develop their resilience toolkit or pass resilience skills on to others.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to Resilience Training
Resilience Specialist Dr Chris Johnstone briefly introduces the course, looking at what resilience is and what the course offers to help us develop it.
Here we look at evidence that Resilience Training reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. The Penn Resilience Program, developed by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania, is described.

The trainer describes his journey of becoming a resilience specialist, from a student project over thirty years ago to work as a hospital doctor, in the addictions field and as a trainer in workplace wellbeing.


Here the trainer recommend you view this course in small chunks, rather than all at once, so that you can try out using strategies between episodes.

Section 2: Strategy One - Identify Inspiring Examples

A four-part story structure is introduced as a way of drawing out learning points from examples of resilience. The trainer illustrates this by telling the story of Peter Shaw (for more on this story, see Peter Shaw's book 'Hole - kidnapped in Georgia', Accent Press, 2006).

Here Chris introduces the inspiring example exercise, and the pdf template you can use for this.
1 page

Here is a template you can use for recording inspiring examples of resilience. Please also feel welcome to share in the discussion section here examples of resilience you've been inspired by.

Section 3: Strategy Two - Timelines and Active Hope
The starting point for this strategy is to recognise that any situation can develop in many different ways. Active Hope involves starting from where you, identifying what you hope for and then being active in moving towards that.
1 page

This handout maps out the steps of the second strategy, inviting you to apply it in your life.

Section 4: Strategy Three - Do The Boat and Water Level

A visual metaphor is introduced that helps us understand resilience: bumping into a problem is viewed as similar to a boat crashing into a rock, with the water level representing our resilience. A practical exercise is introduced based on this image, where we can map out factors that influence our resilience.

1 page

This handout invites you to try using the Water Level process, identifying factors that reduce or strengthen your resilience.

Section 5: Strategy Four - Develop Your Resilience Toolkit of Self-Help SSRIs

You are invited to reflect on a time when you've faced something difficult and got through that in a way you now feel satisfied with. How did you do that? We look at four elements of a personal resilience toolkit, using the letters SSRI to stand for Strategies, Strengths, Resources and Insights.

1 page

This handout guides you through the SSRI Resilience Toolkit exercise.

Section 6: Strategy Five - The Flexible Thinking ABC
The way we think about a situation will influence our response to it. Here the ABC thinking check is introduced as a tool that helps protect us from getting stuck in a thinking track that doesn't help us.

Here Chris describes how to apply the ABC process, introducing the downloadable pdf template.

1 page

This handout offers a template for applying the ABC process. You can use more than one sheet for the same situation if you'd like to consider more than three perspectives (or different B's).

Section 7: Strategy Six - Emotional First-Aid
While it can be normal and healthy to feel disturbed when facing a disturbing situation, it we're too disturbed it interferes with our ability to respond. Emotional FirstAid involves something you do in a short space of time to gather yourself together, in a way that helps you rise to the occasion.

ABRAH stands for Acknowledge, Breathe, Respond with Active Hope. Chris introduces this as a first emotional first-aid practice.


Self-Compassion is introduced as a second emotional first-aid practice.


The Five Sense Check-in is introduced as a third emotional first-aid practice. This is a mindfulness technique, bringing your attention into the present moment.

1 page

This handout summarises the three emotional first-aid practices described in this section.

Section 8: Strategy Seven - Storyboard Your Situation

Bringing together the other strategies introduced so far, the storyboarding process is introduced as a tool for designing resilient responses to situations we find challenging.

1 page

Here is a template you can use for storyboarding situations where you'd like more resilience.

Section 9: Next Steps
The Resilience Checklist is introduced as a tool to prompt reflection and review of the resilience strategies we've been looking at.
10 questions

a way of reviewing learning from the course

1 page

This handout offers a printable form of the quiz, so that you can keep a record of your score each time you use it, and compare with times you repeat it at a later date.

Ending the course, Chris points to resources for further reading and enquiry. This course is the first in a series of online video-based courses from College of To find out about other courses, sign up to our newsletter at
1 page

This handout offers pointers for further reading, as well as links to video talks on the web.

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Instructor Biography

Dr Chris Johnstone, Resilience Specialist at

Dr Chris Johnstone is a leading author and trainer in resilience, wellbeing and positive psychology. He qualified, with distinction, as a medical doctor in 1986, after a first degree combining medicine and psychology. Over the last thirty years he has pioneered the role of resilience training in health-care, adult education and the workplace.

His books include Find Your Power - a toolkit for resilience and positive change (Permanent Publications, 2nd ed, 2010) and, co-authored with Joanna Macy, Active Hope - how to face the mess we're in without going crazy. He also co-presents, with Miriam Akhtar, the audiobook The Happiness Training Plan.

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